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Ritchie’s race number’s up for amount of charity cash raised

Count on us to raise charity cash – from left, Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure; Ritchie Hocking and Macmillan Cancer Support fundraising manager for Renfrewshire, Laura Stockwell

THERE was a run on the pound this week, but it had nothing to do with the financial markets.

Count on us to raise charity cash – from left, Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure; Ritchie Hocking and Macmillan Cancer Support fundraising manager for Renfrewshire, Laura Stockwell

Count on us to raise charity cash – from left, Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure; Ritchie Hocking and Macmillan Cancer Support fundraising manager for Renfrewshire, Laura Stockwell

Instead, Macmillan Cancer Support were given £2387 for being the official charity partner of this year’s Paisley 10k Race and Fun Run organised by Renfrewshire Leisure in association with Renfrewshire Council.

And the charity’s number was most certainly up as Paisley 10k runner, Ritchie Hocking sported a running vest number matching the amount raised when he met up with Macmillan Cancer Support local fundraising manager, Laura Stockwell and Renfrewshire Leisure chief executive, Joyce McKellar.

Ritchie works as a senior leisure attendant at Paisley’s Lagoon Leisure Centre and ran this year’s race for the first time.

In August this year, a record 2872 people took part in the two events, sponsored by Paisley First and Decathlon.
Laura Stockwell said: “We’re so grateful for this donation from the Renfrewshire Leisure’s Paisley 10k.
“No one should have to face cancer alone and with support like this, they won’t have to.
“This donation will go a long way to helping us be there for people with cancer and their families.”

Joyce McKellar added: “The Paisley 10k and Fun Run is not only a great way to keep fit and healthy, but it’s a fantastic event for raising money for good causes.
“And Macmillan Cancer Support is certainly a great cause.”

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Council and police team up for festive safety advice

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Renfrewshire Council and Police Scotland have teamed up to give taxi and private hire passengers some important festive safety tips.

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Councillor John Hood, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Regulatory Functions Board, said:  “Renfrewshire’s places of entertainment offer a wide range of options for a great night out.

“This is a particularly busy time of year and we want everyone to enjoy their evening and get home safely.

“So the council and the police have joined forces to issue some easy to remember safety tips when booking or using taxis and private hire cars.”

Sergeant Jeff Curran of Police Scotland  said:  “There are some simple and easy to remember tips which involve planning your night out in advance, using only licensed  taxis or private hire vehicles, and making the effort to pre-book your hire at the beginning and end of your night out.”

One of the key pieces of advice is that people should only use an officially licensed taxi cab company or a private hire vehicle.  Both options have Renfrewshire Council plates displaying the licence details and the driver’s badge should be displayed within the vehicle.

Sergeant Curran added:  “Never be tempted to take the offer of a lift from a passing car,” added Sergeant Curran.  “And check that the taxi or private hire that arrives for you is the one that you booked.  Most firms use a text service which advises when the vehicle is coming and what type of vehicle it is.”

Booking in advance  a time for a taxi or private hire to collect you at the end of the evening also saves the stress of trying to find a cab or private hire at some of the busiest times of the year.

The final piece of advice comes from Councillor Hood: “Make the effort to take responsibility for yourself and look out for your friends.”

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Doosan Babcock Announce Consultation Over Jobs

Doosan Babcock has announced plans to cut up to 270 jobs at their company’s base in Renfrew.

They include 140 posts at its machining and assembly facility in Renfrew, along with 130 management and back-office support roles.

The firm could cut 470 across the UK.

In Renfrew, 800 people are currently employed.

Commenting on the news that Doosan Babcock is to close in Renfrew, constituency MSP and Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said:

 “I am extremely disappointed and saddened to hear of this news and my thoughts are with the workers, who now face an uncertain future. 

“I was given no notice by the company as constituency MSP

 “I will be engaging with the company urgently and the Scottish Government will be doing all we can to assist in this extremely difficult time”

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North said

“I am extremely disappointed to learn that Doosan Babcock is to enter into a formal consultation with its employees that could result in significant job losses.

“Following the announcement by Chivas a few weeks ago this announcement represents another kick in the teeth for Renfrewshire. Both Chivas and Doosan Babcock are two longstanding Renfrewshire-based companies, with both providing careers to generations of local families.

“My thoughts at the moment are with the workers of Doosan Babcock’s in Renfrew. There is never of a good time to learn that you may be potentially losing your job but to do so in the run-up to Christmas is particularly insensitive.

“I will be contacting Doosan Babcock to find out more about this restructure and its implications. I am ready to offer as much assistance as possible to the workforce.”

Doosan Babcock Chief executive Andrew Hunt said: “Over the last year we have worked hard to rebalance the business, adapting to changing market dynamics and reacting to industry requirements for a low-carbon future.
“Unfortunately, we foresee long-term downturn in certain market sectors which mean the current position is unsustainable.
“It is with much regret that we now have to enter into the statutory consultation period on redundancies.”
He added: “The continued long-term growth of the business across the UK and in strategic international markets remains a priority.
“We have made significant progress in transforming and future-proofing the business but this will only prove successful if we also reduce our cost base in parallel.”
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Contact the Elderly welcome new Age Scotland campaign

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Contact the Elderly welcome Age Scotland’s newly launched campaign ‘No-one should have no-one at Christmas’.

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With figures outlining that more than 50,000 older Scots will spend Christmas alone, it is welcome news that the Scottish Government has also announced a national strategy to tackle loneliness.

Loneliness is an issue all year round and our team of dedicated volunteers ensure more than 1000 of those aged 75 and over who live alone enjoy social contact at least once a month through our much loved and treasured free tea parties.

The figures from Age Scotland highlight once again there is much more potential to expand our tea parties in Scotland and this is something we are working very hard to do that. To make that happen we need to identify and reach out to those living alone and we would once again like to encourage the public and other agencies to help us find these people. We also need more volunteers to offer just a little bit of time once a month, or even a couple of times a year, to make an immeasurable difference and enjoy great company, tea and cake.

Our 112 groups in Scotland, from the Borders to the Highlands, Glasgow to Aberdeenshire, Edinburgh to Angus and plenty of places in between are currently enjoying fantastic Christmas parties and it brings such joy to see volunteers and guests having a wonderful festive gathering. I would urge anyone reading this, or anyone who has offered an act of kindness inspired by the Age Scotland campaign and keen to do more throughout 2017 and beyond, to consider donating a little time – from the vast testimonials we receive from guests and volunteers we can assure you the rewards are mutually felt.

To find out more about becoming a guest of or volunteering with Contact the Elderly please visit www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk.

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Christmas shopping is child’s play

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CHRISTMAS shopping will be child’s play this year after a new activity camp for kids was launched in sports and leisure centres throughout Renfrewshire.

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Parents can take their children along to the Drop ‘N’ Shop Days and then head off on their own to buy this year’s Christmas presents for family and friends.

And while mum and dad hit the shops, youngsters will be having fun and games with Renfrewshire Leisure staff during the activity sessions between 10am and 3pm.

The next Drop ‘n’ Shop activity day is being held at Johnstone Community Sports Hub, on Saturday, December 10 and the following Saturday, the activity camp moves to Renfrew Leisure Centre.

On Sunday, December 18, Drop ‘n’ Shop is at the ON-X, in Linwood; Thursday, December 22, at Erskine Sports Centre and on Friday, December 23, at The Lagoon, in Paisley. The activity camps cost only £10 per child.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “The run-up to Christmas can be a very busy and stressful time for adults.

“While the kids are getting excited about Santa Claus and waking up on Christmas Day to lots of presents, they might not be so keen about having to trail round all the shops.
“So, we’re giving parents the chance to drop their kids off at one of our leisure centres where they’ll have loads of Festive fun and games with our fully-trained leisure staff, then the grown-ups can get on with the serious work of Christmas shopping.”

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Paisley to host Scots Trad Music Awards in 2017

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The Scots Trad Music Awards are to be held in Paisley in December 2017 for the first time.

The news was announced by event founder Simon Thoumire at this year’s Gala Concert and Awards Ceremony in Caird Hall, Dundee on Saturday, December 3.

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The BBC MG ALBA Scots Trad Awards are considered a major highlight in the traditional music calendar. The aim of the annual awards is to highlight Scotland’s wonderful traditional music in all its forms and to create a high profile opportunity that will shine a light on talent as well as the industry in general.

From its inception in 2003, the awards have steadily grown in popularity and prestige attracting television coverage by BBC ALBA in 2007 and major sponsorship from MG ALBA in 2008. This year’s awards will be broadcast to the world (via bbc.co.uk/alba) and it is hoped this will afford Scotland’s largest town an opportunity to share news of its bid to become UK City of Culture 2021 with a global audience.  

The is also further evidence that Paisley is capable of hosting high profile music events – it hosted both the British Pipe Band Championships and the Scottish Album of the Year Awards this year, with both returning in 2017.  

It is also proof of Paisley’s burgeoning music scene. Renfrewshire’s talents have featured heavily in the BBC MG ALBA Scots Trad Awards in recent years with The Scott Wood Band nominated for ‘Folk Band of the Year’ in 2014 while Johnstone Pipe Band are in contention for ‘Pipe Band of the Year’ this year (see separate release for results).

Simon Thoumire said, “Hands Up for Trad are really delighted that the 2017 Scots Trad Music Awards will be hosted by Paisley, currently bidding for the UK City of Culture title in 2021, home of The Spree, and the birth place of some of Scotland’s finest musical talent. We’re really looking forward to working with Renfrewshire Council to make the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2017 the best yet“.

Welcoming the Trad Awards announcement, Renfrewshire Council leader, Mark Macmillan, said, “We are delighted to be hosting the Trad Awards in 2017 and look forward to welcoming fans from all over the world. Paisley’s music scene is thriving, offering formal concerts and more impromptu gigs in local cafes, bars and restaurants, as organisers grow in confidence. Add several major music events in 2017 and the reasons to visit have grown enormously.”                      

For more information on the Scots Trad Music Awards visit: https://projects.handsupfortrad.scot/scotstradmusicawards/

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Voucher for John McKay Jewellers

John McKay £5 Note Front

Why not treat yourself or a loved one to a gorgeous Christmas gift from John McKay Jeweller.  If you show the voucher below you will recive £5 off any spend over £25.

 

John McKay £5 Note Front

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Swimmers enjoyed dancing the Splashing White Sergeant!

Pool staff, from left Susan McCann, Paul Caruth, Colin Dearing, Carole Doyle and Elaine Carlton with Highland dancer, youngster Hayley Carlton

Swimmers at Renfrew Victory Baths certainly splashed out to celebrate St Andrew’s Day. They took part in an Aqua Ceilidh with Scottish dancing in the pool.

Pool staff, from left Susan McCann, Paul Caruth, Colin Dearing, Carole Doyle and Elaine Carlton with Highland dancer, youngster Hayley Carlton

Pool staff, from left Susan McCann, Paul Caruth, Colin Dearing, Carole Doyle and Elaine Carlton with Highland dancer, youngster Hayley Carlton

The event was organised by Renfrewshire Leisure and as well as enjoying Scottish music being played on the pool’s sound system, the swimmers were entertained by six-year-old Hayley Carlton, from Renfrew, who gave them a demonstration of Highland dancing at the poolside.



And afterwards there were traditional Scottish refreshments of
Irn Bru, shortcake and teacakes.

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “The staff at Renfrew Victory Baths always go the extra mile to put on events to mark special occasions and involve the swimmers who come along on a regular basis.
“The poolside was festooned with Scottish flags and everyone had a great time, especially when they danced the Splashing White Sergeant and the Spray Gordons in the pool!”

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Kids bag themselves some great books

Gallowhill’s St Catherine’s Primary 1 pupils, from left, Eloise Colquhoun, Alistair Grier, Freya McKenna and Joshua Dapaah

EVERY Primary One pupil in Renfrewshire has been given a bag full of books and fun activities to encourage them to read.

Gallowhill’s St Catherine’s Primary 1 pupils, from left, Eloise Colquhoun, Alistair Grier, Freya McKenna and Joshua Dapaah

Gallowhill’s St Catherine’s Primary 1 pupils, from left, Eloise Colquhoun, Alistair Grier, Freya McKenna and Joshua Dapaah


Renfrewshire Leisure staff visited schools to hand out Bookbug Family Bags as part of Book Week Scotland.
The family bags – produced by the Scottish Book Trust in partnership with Education Scotland and the Scottish Government – contain three picture books, an activity book, a whiteboard, pen and magnetic numbers.

The three books are – There’s a Bear on My Chair, by Ross Collins; Hare and Tortoise, by Alison Murray and Shark in the Park, by Nick Sharratt.

All three titles have been shortlisted for The Bookbug Picture Prize 2017 and youngsters also received a voting form to choose their favourite for the award.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s award-winning mobile library and event space, The Skoobmobile also visited local primary schools when the gift bags were handed out.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “By handing out Bookbug Bags we aim to create a lasting link between reading at school and at home.

“If youngsters can develop a love of reading and books at an early age, the chances are this will continue into adulthood.
“We’re doing all we can to encourage youngsters to read and enjoy books.”

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Young people’s Assembly wants focus on mental health issues

Renfrewshire Provost Anne Hall with young people and supporters at the first Renfrewshire Youth Assembly

Mental health has emerged as the top issue for young people at a ground-breaking youth voice event hosted by Renfrewshire Council.

Renfrewshire Provost Anne Hall with young people and supporters at the first Renfrewshire Youth Assembly

Renfrewshire Provost Anne Hall with young people and supporters at the first Renfrewshire Youth Assembly

Young people at Renfrewshire’s first Youth Assembly overwhelmingly felt mental health was becoming a huge concern and believe more attention and awareness is required on the issue.

Around 300 young people from local secondary schools and youth groups made their voices heard on the views that matter to them at the Youth Assembly – Renfrewshire’s biggest single community youth forum event.

The exciting event – hosted by Renfrewshire Council’s Youth Services team with support from young people including Renfrewshire Youth Voice – saw people aged between 12 and 25 come together in Paisley Town Hall for a day of discussion on key issues alongside interactive workshops.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall opened the event attended by community planning partner agencies – such as NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Police Scotland and Invest in Renfrewshire – and local and national third sector groups, including Young Scot, Zero Waste Scotland, Renfrewshire Young Carers, Active Communities, RE-EM, I am Me Scotland, Who Cares? Scotland and Erskine Music and Media Studio.

The gathering also saw active discussion on education, jobs and training, the 2021 City of Culture Bid and how to have a say in what happens in Renfrewshire. This was followed by workshops on recycling and environmental issues, how to use social media responsibly, mental health campaigns, such as Speak Your Mind from the Scottish Youth Parliament, and understanding hate crimes and discrimination.

The young people also planned out their ideas for a central youth hub where they could come together and meet, as well as providing ideas on what they would like to see in their own areas.

The Council’s Youth Services team aim to hold a Youth Assembly every year, but young people will continue to meet in smaller groups over the coming months to investigate the themes further.

Amy Chivers, 15, a pupil at Castlehead High School in Paisley, said: “The whole experience has been good to express my opinion. I’ve learned lots of different skills that are there for the future.

“I’ve also learned techniques on how to deal with stress, which will help me in my exams.”

Chloe Morrison, 15, who also attends Castlehead High School, said: “The workshops have been great. The social media one was my favourite as it told me how to get my ideas out there.

“I’ve also learned how to set goals and what is realistic to achieve.”

Councillor Jacqueline Henry, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children Policy Board, said: “This first Youth Assembly has been an amazing event.

“Renfrewshire’s young people have made it clear what matters to them and what they would like to see happening.

“This is just the beginning of a number of actions to ensure young people can have their say in shaping services in Renfrewshire through the issues that are important to them.

“Thanks go to all the young people who came along, passionately took part and wanted to make themselves heard and all the partners who supported us in this new venture.

“We look forward to supporting more young people to be heard and will work closely with partners to make sure we listen closely and shape our services accordingly.”

Any young person, group, or organisation who would like to be involved in the future can get in touch with Renfrewshire Council’s Youth Services tel 0141 889 1110 or email youth@renfrewshire.gov.uk